Another word for rhythm is flow, it is a space where meanings are produced. The very flow that is evident during a piece of improvisation can be witnessed in homogeneous ways during the throwing of the bones (ukwebhula). Perhaps one could argue that flow/rhythm is a process whereby more than one realms are aligned, a state of synchronicity between our world and the underworlds.


Nduduzo Makhathini

Sound and Spirituality

A fellow seeker then asked me: ‘But then how do we know that a particular music is spiritual?’ As you can imagine, I didn’t have an answer to his questions. The closest I could think of was; the ways in which certain musics make me feel, or at least my unique responses to it. I also thought, a musical moment can be experienced and interpreted in various idiosyncrasies by individuals, so then my answer was still fairly relative.

Suddenly, in a quiet voice my guide asked me another question: ‘How do we know if it’s raining?’ I paused for a minute thinking that, I would have expected some clarity on the question raised by the seeker as opposed to another from my guide.

After a while I then thought, could there be any connections between these two questions? I also thought could my guide’s question be an answer in itself.

As I wondered in my travels back home I started thinking: ‘The only time music can be spiritual, is when it connects with the cosmic harmonies of the universe. And it is the totality of a musical experience that gets in tune with the music of the spheres.’

Iphupho (13 June 2018)

Nduduzo Makhathini